The Frick Collection

The Frick Collection is a public museum that houses a private collection of one of the wealthiest industrialists in the US, Henry Clay Frick. This includes paintings, sculpture, European porcelain, Limoges enamels and eighteenth-century French furniture from the Renaissance era through the late nineteenth century.

History

The Frick Collection
In the late 19th century, Henry Clay Frick was one of the wealthiest industrialists in the United States of America. Originally from Pittsburgh, PA, this wealthy steel tycoon moved to New York City for personal and financial reasons. In the early 1910's, Frick hired the architect Thomas Hastings to design a lavish residence along the prestigious 5th Avenue. Built in the Neoclassical style, the mansion was heavily inspired by the architectural and cultural elements of the Gilded Age. In his lifetime, Frick acquired a large private collection of fine art and exclusive books from Europe. After his passing in 1919, and in his will the house and all of the works of art to become a museum called The Frick Collection. After his wife, Adelaide Frick, died in 1931, the family and trustees of The Frick Collection began the transformation of the residence into a museum. In the early 1935, the upscale residence opened into a public museum. The architect John Russell Pope enhanced and expanded the home into a space that was suitable for galleries and exhibits. Since opening at the height of the Great Depression, the Frick Collection has been one of the premier art museums in New York City. The 1970's marked another major turning point in the institution's history. A garden and pavilion were added as an expansion that would accommodate a growing number of visitors.

Collection Highlights

The permanent collection at the Frick Collection is almost entirely dedicated to paintings from the Renaissance era through the late nineteen century. Henry Frick was fascinated by the works of the Old Masters who gained tremendous status in Western Europe. While touring the galleries, you'll see masterpieces by El Greco, Rembrandt, Frans Hals, Titian, Francisco Goya and dozens of other prominent artists from France, Spain, Italy and the Netherlands. Note that the permanent collection is further enriched by frequent presentations of special exhibitions. The West Gallery, East Gallery, North Hall and Fragonard Room are furnished with some of the museum's most prized possessions. Keep in mind that this historic mansion has many intricate halls and rooms that were originally designed for residential use. Therefore, you'll see plenty of original furniture and decorative household items that were owned by the Fricks. Rococo furniture, crystal chandeliers and marble floors decorate the building. Having an oval layout, the Music Room has been converted into an intimate venue for performances and presentations. It often servers as a lecture hall that features guest speakers and other experts on the art that's on display. The Frick Art Reference Library was founded by Henry Clay Frick’s daughter, Helen Clay Frick in 1920, and moved to its present location at 10 E 71st Street, in 1935, in a new structure designed by John Russel Pope. The collections of the Frick Art Reference Library relate mainly to paintings, drawings, sculpture, and prints by artists from Europe and the Americas created in the Western tradition from the fourth to the twentieth century. In addition, European decorative arts of the fifteenth to the nineteenth century are covered. The library is open and free to all adults, serving students, art historians, and art professionals, as well as the general public. The museum has continued to acquire works since Mr. Frick’s death. Now, nearly 50% of the collection includes works (paintings, decorative arts, sculptures, etc) acquired since his death in 1919.

Visiting The Frick Collection

The Frick Collection is located at the intersection of 5th Avenue and 70th Street in the Upper East Side neighbourhood of Manhattan. Operated by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), several bus routes conveniently stop just a few steps away from the museum. Running parallel to each other, Madison Avenue and 5th Avenue have dozens of bus stops in this particular district of the Big Apple. There are also several New York City subway stations that are situated just a few blocks away from the Frick Collection. Located near the campus of Hunter College, the 68th Street station gets service from the 4 and 6 lines. You can also take the Q train to the 72nd Street station just off 2nd Avenue. As one of the most visited neighbourhoods in Manhattan, the Upper East Side has plenty of covered parking garages that charge hourly or daily rates.

Location: 1 E 70th Street (at 5th Avenue), New York, NY, 10021

Click here to visit The Frick Collection official website.

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1 E 70th Street
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